Charity abseilers to scale 100ft tower of Dorchester Abbey

TEN intrepid charity supporters will be abseiling down the 100ft tower at Dorchester Abbey as part of the village’s 10-day festival.

The abseilers will scale the tower at 12noon on 2nd May – the second day of the biennial Dorchester-on-Thames Festival.

So far they have raised £5,982* jointly for Dorchester Abbey and family support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT) but the team is aiming to double this total.

PACT has been building and strengthening families since 1911 through adoption, long-term fostering, award-winning therapeutic services and community projects across London and the south.

It hopes to use the funds raised from the festival to provide therapeutic support services to Oxfordshire families to help adopted and fostered children to address painful issues from their past.

Among the abseilers are PACT chief executive Jan Fishwick, Rector of Dorchester Abbey and PACT Trustee Sue Booys, Leader of SODC John Cotton, and PACT adopter Julie Bignone.

Jan Fishwick said: “Abseiling down the Dorchester Abbey Tower is one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do but I am prepared to do it because I am passionate about the work PACT does.”

Julie Bignone said: “In 2011 we were incredibly lucky to bring our amazing little girl home to our family and all of this was made possible thanks to the wonderful social workers and adoption support team in PACT.”

Festival Director Steph Forman said: “It is great that so many people are giving their time to make this year’s Festival programme and fundraising the best yet!”

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend Dorchester Festival and enjoy almost 50 events including The Tallis Scholars, a Come and Sing with John Rutter, OSCAR winner Ben Morris, a Food Fair with cookery demonstrations and a wide variety of children’s entertainment.

Also taking part in the abseil are former High Sherriff Richard Dick, parish councilor Sue Graney, Dorchester Abbey organist Jeremy Boughton, Oli Goodwin, Violet Allmark and Tabitha Atkinson-Seed

To sponsor the team and to find out more see:

Tickets for all the Dorchester Festival events can be purchased via the website at

*Total correct at time of writing